‘Animal Dance’ at Children’s Theatre Co.

Children's Theatre Company, Ann Carlson
image courtesy Dan Norman

 Animal Dance is the kind of experience that will engage and delight the whole family and especially those who are very young. As part of their Early Childhood Initiative, Peter Brosius and Ann Carlson have created a unique piece that speaks the truth, “Dance is EVERYWHERE!”

A 40-minute show, there is no plot.  It’s simply enjoying life through vibrant eyes.

World-renowned choreographer and performance artist Ann Carlson playfully, gently, and thoughtfully interacts with animals in many of the same ways that children do: with curiosity, a sense of wonder, and reverence for animals.”

Children's Theatre Company, Ann Carlson
image courtesy Dan Norman

Children's Theatre

“I love to dance,” the dancer–a small, yellow sprite–states.  “Line dances, corner dances, cloud dances.”  And she takes you on the dance with her. Along the way, animals join her as she celebrates life.

Appreciation for Animal Dance

 It’s a story of the similarities we share with our animal friends in the quest for discovery and ultimately, understanding. So stomp your hooves, clap your paws, and expect the unexpected.

Children's Theatre Company, Ann CArlson
image courtesy of Dan Norman

“The bunny was so cute!” my 9 year old said.

“I liked the goat,” my 7 year old said.

“The goat was the cutest because he played with her,” said my 10 year old.

Personally, I loved when they chucked the chicken onto the stage sending it over the little sprite’s head.  I also LOVED the turtle scene.

Children's Theatre Company, Ann Carlson
image courtesy Dan Norman

“I think of Animal Dance as planting a tree, offering new roots for the very young viewers as they grow into a compassionate citizens of the earth,” states Carlson. “The theatrical environment is an opportunity for exquisite attention. Animal Dance is based on the commitment of working with the animals as sentient beings, deserving of our utmost respect and consideration; we are not asking them to “perform” tricks for us, or act in a certain way.  Animal Dance creates a performance where everyone can fearlessly be themselves, thus imagining a world where two and four footed creatures share the earth with empathy and joy.”


Children's Theatre Company, Ann Carlson
image courtesy Dan Norman
Surprised by Animal Dance

“That was my favorite show ever!” exclaimed my 6 year old.

Patty Born Selly, a professor at Hamline University and author of Connecting Animals and Children in Early Childhood, has been an important resource for the development of the show.  She is extremely pleased with the production because much of her work centers around the understanding of the emotional connection between animals and children and its importance.

While that is important, the most memorable part of the show is a very tactile, very earthy reality. 

“P-O-O-P. P-O-O-P. P-O-O-P. Poop!”

“You can’t ignore it. It’s an event,” Peter Brosius, the director of Animal Dance, exclaimed.  Putting it to song, welcomes the whole audience to enjoy a normally disgusting fact of life. 

Be assured that if you have a worrier, like I do, there are no snakes, tigers, lions, bears, or cobras (to be specific).

Beautifully concluded, Animal Dance invites you underwater with a gold fish in a bowl. Who knew I would be so mesmerized by a simple goldfish, but I bet you will be too!

Children's Theatre Company, Ann Carlson
image courtesy Dan Norman

“And now my dance is done.”

Animal Dance runs March 22 through May 1 on the Cargill Stage. Best enjoyed by preschoolers. For more information, visit childrenstheatre.org or call the Ticket Office at 612.874.0400.  Tickets are very limited so make sure you grab your tickets while you can.

all quoted material taken from CTC’s press release unless otherwise noted

Children's Theatre Company, Ann Carlson
image courtesy Dan Norman


We were given tickets to the show.  All of our opinions are our own. Free Tickets Disclosure

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